She must learn again to speak
starting with I
starting with We
starting as the infant does
with her own true hunger
and pleasure
and rage.

-- Marge Piercy

The Polarity Files #1 — Scenes from Your Neighborhood Safeway

She castrated him in broad daylight in the middle of the Safeway parking lot.

It was bloodless, swift, evidence of a long-running downward spiral between them; this latest round commencing as they made their way from the checkout counter to the car.

The words were all hers, clipped and tight as the lines of her jaw. He didn’t listen so much as oblige the assault, eyes to the pavement ahead as if he were tracking something obvious yet somehow tragically elusive. When they reached the car she muscled past him to open the trunk, yanking the plastic bags full of lettuce and cereal and dish soap from the cart like a two-year-old having a “me do it!” tantrum.

So he let her. He was already missing a crucial piece of his anatomy; might as well leave his spine behind to keep it company. Turning away with a blank and fatal expression on his face, he dropped into the passenger’s seat and waited for her, in a visible tangle of resignation, resentment, and relief.

They had been a couple for three months, or for thirty years; it wasn’t necessary to hear their words to understand the obvious encore of this particular dialogue. Clearly he was the stupidest man on earth—having forgotten their anniversary, or next weekend’s soccer tournament/pizza party, or the right way to secure the garbage can lid so the neighbor’s dogs wouldn’t have their own party all over the front lawn in the middle of the night.

He was ignoring her, or shutting down from her, or abandoning her in a hundred different ways; in whatever way, he had let her down, again. She, ever the warrior, was determined, again, to pick up what he wouldn’t, or couldn’t, carry.

And use it to neuter him once more, sans anesthesia, at the next perfect, inopportune moment...albeit, with his full cooperation.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the modern paradigm of intimate relationship. 

Welcome to The Polarity Files.


Polarity refers to the natural spark of energy that occurs between two opposites—masculine and feminine, yin and yang. It is instinctual, automatic, and hardwired into the human psyche, without exception. Each one of us has both masculine and feminine energy, but at our core, we are either one or the other.

Your core is your essential nature, your authentic self. It’s the real-life “God particle” in each of us. Conversely, we all have layers of false masculine and feminine that have been imposed on us through decades of family legacy and cultural programming.

Polarity, when it’s being expressed naturally, creates passion, intimacy and attraction in all relationships. Unfortunately, in the pursuit of equality, our culture has instead learned to foster sameness—blurring and in some cases even eradicating the essential differences between genders, to tragic social and relational ends.

Just as a battery goes dead when its poles reach a fifty-fifty charge, energetic sameness kills all power and truth in human relationship.

Once upon a time, the roles of men and women in partnership were clearly defined. As Edith and Archie Bunker sang every Saturday night on CBS:

 “And you knew who you were then…
girls were girls and men were men.”

Since everything contains a blessing as well as a curse, over time the instinctual roles of Masculine Provider and Feminine Nurturer became misused, misdirected, and ultimately misaligned.

Equality seemed like the answer. To right the imbalance of what had become Masculine Dominance and Feminine Submission, we sought to level the playing field between genders. Unfortunately, the playing field also morphed, into a battleground—with masculine and feminine jockeying for position, competing for status and respect, each trying to prove who’s stronger, better, more powerful, more important.

And in that same war, still waging some sixty years later with no clear victor, each side has lost the truest part of themselves—leaving trust, passion, and instinctual altruism among the tragic casualties.

Mr. and Ms. Safeway are, unfortunately, an all-too-typical representation of that ongoing competition and its resulting energetic confusion. Aggressive, controlling, angry women paired with weak, ineffectual, absent men; only one of many deadly combinations that have evolved out of Polarity Gone South.

Once you begin to understand the principles of right polarity, you can’t help but see it (and sadly, much more frequently, it’s absence) everywhere, in every kind of relationship.

The most conspicuous expression of polarity is seen through intimate partnership. Being energetic in nature, polarity is not gender specific—it animates heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual relationship with the same yin/yang opposition. And although its most basic essence is sexual, polarity goes far, far beyond sex.

It is the essential quality of the Divine being expressed through specific human characteristics.

I’ve been teaching the principles of relationship polarity for a long time, and I can tell you that it’s challenge enough to explain in an all-day workshop, let alone in a single blog entry. And learning about it isn’t enough…comprehending polarity is where the real work takes place.

The easiest way to begin is to simply see polarity first through the storyline of archetype. Carl Jung said archetypes are “self portraits of the instincts; older than mankind, belonging to the collective unconscious.” Even unrecognized, or cloaked in the veils of intentional denial, this story and these characters are alive in every one of us.

The archetype of the Masculine is the Hero. He is purpose, presence, strength, and direction. He is the provider and the protector. He is the rock; steadfast and incorruptible.

The Feminine is the nurturer. She is love, light, support, and emotion. She is the Muse. She is the weather; openly expressive and ever changing.

These are not limitations, or culturally imposed definitions designed to cripple someone’s self-expression in the world. They are our truest nature in evidence. They are how we see ourselves, or wish to, when we think no one else is watching; the self most of us long for but only admit to in a whisper, or to ourselves, or not at all.

Polarity is virtually impossible to grasp from a purely logical standpoint; we all carry far too many stereotypes and modern culture codes that argue against our essential nature. It requires tremendous willingness to open your heart and listen to the voice of instinct in order to trust something that seems, for all intents and purposes, counterintuitive to what reality is telling you.

Interesting, that intimate relationship with God requires the same things.

The Masculine is God in action; the Feminine is God in love. And true balance lies not in the neutral territory of equality, but in the magnetic alliance of opposites.

The Polarity Files will be an ongoing series, focusing on real-world examples of both right and reversed polarity. Sometimes you really do have to see something first, before you can start to believe it.

The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon? Polarity. The more-brutal-than-ever-before ugliness in the current political campaigns? Polarity. Toddlers and Tiaras? Road rage? Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson?? You got it. All about polarity.

And all coming up on…(cue the ominous TV theme music) The Polarity Files.

See you next time.

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I have files and files of stories for The Files…but I would love to have yours, as well. Add your questions, comments, or experiences by clicking the link below, or send them in an email to

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To further illustrate the dynamics of polarity (literally), we turned to the most amazing visual resource on the interwebs: Pinterest! Check out The Polarity Files in pictures...

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